Coves and curves
There is a distinct east/west divide in terms of beaches on Lefkas. The east is full of charming sand and pebble coves, while the west coast is wilder. The twisting roads of the west hug the top of sheer cliffs that drop down to lengthy, beautifully pristine beaches.
The sandiest beach in the east is Nikiana, but this bay at the foothills of the Skaros Mountain is as laid-back as ever in summer. You won’t find any water sports here – for that you should go to Vassiliki, which sits atop the large bay on the south of the island. One of the best places in Europe to windsurf, it also has sailing, kite-surfing and other watersports clubs all along the shingle beach.
On this part of the island you are tantalisingly close to one of Lefkas’ best beaches. Just south of Vassiliki is the picturesque Agiofili beach, which lacks facilities but rewards you with a deep bay of amazingly clear water edged by white sand.
On the water
The warm blue waters invite you to jump in on Lefkas holidays – whether it’s taking a dip on the shore, manning the deck of a yacht or having your course steered for you on a guided boat trip to one of the island’s natural attractions.
The resorts of Nidri and Sivota are known for their busy harbours. Nidri is one of Lefkas’ most popular holiday spots, and big boats line up to take you to secluded beaches on the island of Meganisi or to see the Onassis family’s island, Skorpios. Sailing is also big here, but if you prefer a quieter sailing holiday, use Sivota as your port. This peaceful village only gets busy in the evenings when sailors moor up and frequent the tavernas and the handful of bars.
Eat, drink and shop
Lefkas has maintained its Greek charm, even within the busier resorts, so you’ll mainly get authentic Greek cooking in the eateries here. They serve bites of mezze, moussaka and seafood freshly hauled from the sea that day, along with lots of Ouzo and wines from Lefkas’ vineyards.
Nightlife in Lefkas is quiet on the whole, with Greek music and dancing at village tavernas. You’ll find lots of bars in Vassiliki where the windsurfers chill out or party after a day on the water. The most action can be found in Nidri and Lefkas Town, which has upbeat clubs and karaoke joints.
There are a smattering of shops in the main resorts across Lefkas, which usually have a row of souvenir sellers and mini-markets. Lefkas Town’s main street is the place to go for more serious shopping among its boutiques and galleries. You might also like to spend a day in the modern town, checking out its interesting mix of old and new architecture at a leisurely pace.
Things to do in Lefkas
There are no theme parks or water parks in Lefkas, unless you count the giant watersports hotspot that is Vassiliki bay. Instead the main attractions are its beaches, walks through the countryside and visits to its handful of historic sites.
Rich with walking and cycling paths, you can hike up towards Mount Skaros from Nikiana, along the Ponti bay west of Vassiliki or to see ruins of an ancient town in the valley north of Vassiliki. Just inland from Nidri, wander for 40 minutes through greenery and you’ll reach the Nidri falls, where a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water is encouraged.
You’ll find intricate, hand-crafted Karia lace in many shops across Lefkas, or you can visit the village of Karia, 25 minutes from Nidri, to buy it direct from the ladies who make it. You might even get the chance to see them sitting outside creating it.
As you’re just a bridge away from the mainland here, it’s possible to be in Nicopolis inside an hour – the town that Caesar built in 31 BC.